Language selection


Nuclear facility - Whiteshell Laboratories

The Whiteshell Laboratories (WL) site is a former nuclear research and test establishment located approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg near the town of Pinawa, Manitoba. The WL site encompasses an area of 4,375 hectares and includes facilities such as the Whiteshell Reactor #1 (WR-1), shielded facilities, radioactive waste management area, and various research laboratories and support buildings. WL operated for approximately 40 years before decommissioning of the site began in 2003.

Whiteshell Laboratories

Photo: Courtesy of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

Location: Pinawa, Manitoba
Licensee: Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Ltd. (CNL)
Reactor types:

Whiteshell Reactor 1 (WR-1), 60 MWth organically cooled research reactor

SLOWPOKE Demonstration Reactor (SDR), 2 MWth SLOWPOKE reactor

Owner: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)
Number of units: N/A
Installed capacity: N/A

Decommissioning phase

WR-1 operated from 1965 to 1985 and is currently in storage-with-surveillance

SDR was operated from 1989 to 1990 and is partially decommissioned

Licence issued: January 1, 2020
Licence expires: December 31, 2024
Start of operation: Early 1960s
Licensing documentation: Request a copy of Whiteshell Laboratories’ licence and licence conditions handbook by emailing
Facility website: Whiteshell Laboratories (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)

Latest news

Regulatory actions

The CNSC posts regulatory enforcement actions taken to protect the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment. Use the links below to find out more about any orders or penalties that have been placed on this licensee, if any.

View all regulatory actions


Licensees must report events and incidents involving licensed activities that could impact the health, safety and security of Canadians and the environment to the CNSC. Use the links below to find any information provided by this licensee, if any, as well as other public disclosures made by licensees.

View all nuclear-related events

Protecting Canadians and the environment


The CNSC uses information provided by licensees to create our own reports assessing the environmental effects of nuclear facilities or licensed activities.

Health and safety

The CNSC oversees licensee emergency planning and works with other levels of government to ensure the health and safety of Canadians. The CNSC also conducts and reviews health studies on various areas associated with the production, possession or use of nuclear substances.

Page details

Date modified: